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Nintendo‘s Wii U certainly wasn’t the best-received console and, even worse, it had very few survival/ horror titles released for it. However, it has a few very notable titles that are worth a play-through. Don’t worry if you don’t have a Wii U, as most titles are also available on other consoles.

The Wii U’s gamepad adds an extra element to the survival genre, which is actually pretty useful in some games. Despite that fact, other games just feel really clunky. You can also find some really good games on the Wii U eShop, as it contains plenty of indie games that never received a physical release.

1. ZombiU

ZombiU - Nintendo Wii U
$14.75
  • Two Screens, Twice The Fear - Feel the tension mount as you try to keep an eye on your TV and controller screen.
  • Survival-Horror Action At Its Best - Resources are in short supply while your enemies are legion, and you never know when you will find more weapons, ammunition, first aid and food
  • Don't Leave Home Without Your BOB - WiiU controller becomes your Bug-Out Bag, the ultimate all-in-one survival kit for your tools, inventory, med kits, maps and more
  • Unique Death Mechanic - If you die, you wake up to play an entirely new character who is another survivor in the same terrifying position
  • Horde At Your Door - Stock up on guns, ammo and supplies, and lock down your Safe House!
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02/03/2023 03:51 am GMT

ZombiU is the quintessential survival game on the Wii U. Until fairly recently, it was only available on the Wii, and that is unfortunate considering how few actually had the chance to play it. ZombiU is exactly what you expect from a horror game: dark worlds to explore that are filled with zombies.

While that wouldn’t be very hard to find on other consoles, it is a rare find on a Nintendo one. But ZombiU is more than a standard survival game. It is really well done and is one of the few games to take full advantage of the Wii U’s gamepad.

When you start playing, the game drops you into the middle of the action, and the story really takes a backseat to the action. However, you will pick up on some story elements that help you understand what is going on as you progress.

One of the most unique aspects of the game is that dying in the game means you really die. You do respawn, but as a whole new person. Luckily, you are able to start right where your previous character got killed.

The game takes place in London, and several icons are recreated, such as train stations. There is also a nice variety of weapons that you can use and a wide variety of puzzles to solve, making it a well-rounded game.

2. Slender: The Arrival

Slender: The Arrival is a sequel to the hit experimental PC title, Slender: The Eight Pages. The original PC game was relatively short, but it gained plenty of notoriety for its scary nature. This time, you have much more to explore than just the forest. The Arrival turns that short demo into a full game with plenty to do and explore while keeping the basic premise.

The world is filled with different environments, such as houses, warehouses, and even a beachfront and mountains. A major departure from the original is that there are parts of the game that are well-lit with some daylight. This lets you see the full-detailed environments that provide a false sense of security since Slenderman is still stalking you.

No matter how many times you play the game, you will still jump every time Slenderman is in front of you. Slender: The Arrival adds different types of gameplay than the original, but it still feels repetitive despite the game’s short story. The game is also very difficult, which gets really annoying. However, you should still give it a try if you haven’t played it or its predecessor before.

3. Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water

Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water is part of the larger Fatal Frame franchise. The series is much more popular in Japan than in the United States, but it does have a cult following here.

If you haven’t played a Fatal Frame game before, they are set in Japan in the 1980s, where you are essentially armed with a camera that can take pictures of the supernatural. While that doesn’t sound very intimidating, even a bit childish, these games are not.

Fatal Frame is known as a very intense survival/ horror series. However, Maiden of Black Water is one of the tamer games, which is appropriate since it originally launched on just the Wii U. It also tackles some difficult and, at times, graphic topics in addition to the gore on the screen.

The game takes place primarily on a mountain which does look really good. The story isn’t the best, and the characters show little emotion, for some reason. Regardless the gameplay is decent, albeit a little repetitive. The camera aspect is very different for the horror genre, which is a nice departure from the typical hack-and-slash.

4. Resident Evil: Revelations

Resident Evil: Revelations - Nintendo Wii U
$70.49
  • Explore the dark, sinister areas of the cruise ship with nowhere to run and nowhere to hide with evil creeping out of the shadows
  • Features series favorites Jill Valentine, and Chris Redfield
  • Analyze enemies and investigate areas with the Genesis scanner to reveal hidden items
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02/02/2023 06:47 pm GMT

What’s a list of survival games without a Resident Evil title? Well, it wouldn’t be much of a list, and Revelations does a good job of bringing the 3DS game to the Wii U. The Wii U was the perfect console for Revelations since it, too, has dual screens with its gamepad.

However, this version also provides much-needed HD graphics that were obviously missing from the 3DS version. As for the gameplay, Revelations goes back to the series’ roots with a very scary world and action-packed gameplay.

The story involves a group of terrorists unleashing a virus on a new city, where you have to solve the mystery and find out what happened. The story plays out in an episodic fashion, which is a departure from previous Resident Evil games.

The graphics are very good, especially considering that it was upscaled from the 3DS. The audio and voice acting are also a drastic improvement over the mobile version, as Revelations is able to take full advantage of the Wii U’s power. The game also features a nice blend of action and horror that is very similar to Resident Evil 4.

5. Minecraft Wii U Edition

Minecraft: Edition (Nintendo Wii U)
$74.99
  • Super Mario Mash-Up Pack comes exclusively to Minecraft: Wii U Edition. Includes 40 new Super Mario-themed skins, 15 pieces of music from Super Mario 64, all new world and item textures and a Super...
  • Craft, create, and explore by yourself, or with up to four players in split-screen local multiplayer and up to eight online
  • Play in Creative Mode with unlimited resources or mine deep into the world in Survival Mode, crafting weapons and armour to fend off the dangerous mobs
  • Explore randomly-generated worlds and build amazing things from the simplest of homes to the grandest of castles
  • Compatible with Nintendo Wii U
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02/03/2023 06:17 pm GMT

There is some debate about whether Minecraft is really a survival game since it doesn’t feature some of the elements that are usually associated with the genre. However, survival really is the whole point of the game, so it makes sense to include it here.

Moreso, Minecraft has now defined over a decade of gaming, and the Wii U Edition is an early console adaptation. For those that haven’t played Minecraft before, there are two modes in the original game that is available on the Wii U.

The first is Creator Mode, in which you can build your own world. There are so many things that you can create with the game, but that is for another day. Minecraft’s other mode is Survival, which is what we are interested in.

Survival Mode does not feature a linear story that you must follow in order to complete the game. Instead, you are in an open world where you must fight to survive. However, this is not graphic in nature and is a good survival game for the whole family.

The only downside is that the instructions on what you are supposed to do are limited beyond a tutorial. However, you will eventually find yourself battling a boss, which signals the end.

6. Year Walk

wii u survival
Year Walk is loosely based on an ancient Swedish tradition called “Årsgång.”

©MKoala, CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons – License

This game was only available on the Wii U’s eShop, so you may have some trouble trying to play it today. Although it is one of the most underrated games on this list, Year Walk really deserves some credit. It does not follow the stereotypes of a traditional survival game. Instead, it uses bright colors, mainly white, to convey a level of eerieness.

In addition, the art style is also very unique, with a cardboard cutout type of stop motion. The gameplay is a first-person side-scroller, which offers a really good perspective. However, at times it can be confusing to figure out what you actually need to do. The game largely relies on solving puzzles of various difficulties in order to progress.

As far as survival games go, Year Walk is a very short game that only lasts about an hour, to an hour and a half. The game also has a secret ending which contains a rather deep meaning.

The game feels like a point-and-click game, which it is since it is also available on PC. But that aspect allows you to more easily find and read detailed notes that help explain what is going on, as well as the cultural context behind it.

7. The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct

The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct - Nintendo Wii U
$20.00
  • Brand New in box. The product ships with all relevant accessories
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02/03/2023 12:56 am GMT

The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct is based on the hit AMC TV series. The game takes place before the events of the TV show, and you get to play as Daryl. The show’s stars also reprise their roles for the voice acting.

While all of this sounds like it would make the perfect video game, it misses the mark on a lot of aspects, which ultimately leaves the game feeling a bit lackluster. The biggest problems center around the lack of co-op and the characters’ lack of meaningful dialogue.

The game also feels a bit dated, even for its time. Although the graphics don’t look terrible, there are some oddities for a game of this era, such as bodies disappearing after getting killed. But the game isn’t all bad, and there are quite a few redeeming qualities.

The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct is fun to play with a range of weapons. There is also a risk-reward system for traveling around the world. You can also decide whether or not to help other survivors, which can then help you complete various tasks. While the game isn’t perfect and doesn’t quite live up to the hype of the TV show, it is still a decent game if you want something in the survival genre.

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